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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest News for May 6, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Cipollini with purpose built team

Mario Cipollini's stated goal in this year's Giro is to break Alfredo Binda's record of 41 stage wins, and the World Champion who has 40 stages so far will need just two more to achieve this feat. Cipollini won an incredible six Giro stages last year, and few would bet against him to take another two. His Domina Vacanze-Elitron team is thus tailor made to lead him out for that final 150-200m burst, and all the riders will be called upon during the stage to help carry out this goal. If the opportunity arises, then one of the other riders may be able to go for a stage win, such as Michele Scarponi or Giovanni Lombardi.

Full team: Mario Cipollini, Mario Scirea, Giovanni Lombardi, Daniele Bennati, Michele Scarponi, Gabriele Colombo, Alberto Ongarato, Francesco Secchiari and Giampaolo Mondini.

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Cannondale finalises Chapter 11 sale to Pegasus

The Cannondale company has completed the sales of the assets of its bicycle and motorsports divisions to affiliates of Pegasus Partners II, L.P. (Pegasus). Cannondale filed for Chapter 11 protection in late January following mounting losses incurred by its motorsports division.

In future, the bicycle business will be incorporated as the Cannondale Bicycle Corporation. Dan Alloway and Scott Montgomery will continue as senior executives of the Company as Vice President of Sales and Vice President of Marketing, respectively. In addition, the Company is recruiting a Chief Financial Officer and a Chief Operating Officer to bring additional stability to the business. Company founder Joe Montgomery will be a consultant to the Company.

In an official statement, VP of Marketing Scott Montgomery said "We're extremely happy to have concluded the Chapter 11 process so quickly. We were in Chapter 11 for less than 100 days, but we've been a successful part of the bike industry for 32 years. We are back to our roots and it feels good to bring renewed focus to the bicycle business."

The company added that its products are still selling well, and it has a "very strong line planned for 2004."

As part of the acquisition, Pegasus plans to sell Cannondale's motorsports assets, but doesn't plan any other major changes. "Cannondale's difficulties were not related to its bicycle business," said Pegasus partner David Uri. "The problems came from its motorsports effort. The bicycle division has remained profitable, which is a stunning accomplishment given the burden and distraction that motorsports imposed."

"We have no desire to disrupt a winning formula," continued Uri. "As we've said before, our job now is to support and supplement the existing Cannondale team to allow them to concentrate on what they do best - designing, manufacturing and marketing lightweight, high-performance bicycles for the specialty retail market."

Stephen Pate jailed

Australian ex-professional sprinter Stephen Pate has been jailed for 20 months on domestic violence charges. Pate (39) pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including assaulting his wife on four occasions in November 2002 and February 2003. The judge ruled that Pate would have to serve at least eight months of his sentence, which means he will be up for parole in four and a half months, as he has already served some time.

Pate was the world professional sprint champion in 1988, and achieved many top results in the late 1980's and 1990's. His defence argued that after not being selected for the 2000 Olympics, Pate is said to have become depressed and started drinking heavily. He also injured himself at work and was not able to earn an income.

Ex-Dutch Prime Minister at Van Est funeral

Ex-Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt will speak at the funeral of cycling legend Wim van Est, who died last week aged 80. Van Agt is a cycling fan and wishes to honour Van Est for the last time. Van Est was the first Dutch rider to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, in 1951.

Van den Brand signs for @Home

World cyclo-cross champion Daphny van den Brand will ride on the road this season for the @Home Cycling Team. She has been out of action since the 'cross season finished due to a hernia operation, and will make her return to competition in the Ronde van Gelderland.

Matt Hunter signs for Specialized

Talented freerider Matt Hunter has signed for Specialized's expanding factory team. The 19 year old from Kamloops, B.C. was recruited for his "skill level, his tenacity, and his massive potential".

Eagle Tour of Malaysia cancelled

This year's Eagle Tour of Malaysia (ETOM), scheduled to be held in August, has been cancelled due to uncertainties caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Tour organiser Clear Mission Sdn Bhd was forced to cancel the second edition of the race as most of the riders and teams for the UCI 2.5 ranked race are from SARS-affected countries. They include China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Japan, Korea, Philippines, Iran and several European and Trade 3 teams were also among the teams slated to take part in the five day Tour, which is aimed at improving the standard of Asian cycling.

According to Clear Mission Executive Chairman Datuk Wan Lokman Dato' Paduka Wan Ibrahim, the outbreak of SARS in many Asian countries has caused a lot of uncertainties, and left the organisers with no option but to cancel the Tour.

"After careful deliberation, we have no choice but to scrap this year's Tour as most of the riders are from the countries hit by SARS. Although the Tour is still three months away, we have to make a decision now as we don't want to be caught in a situation where a lot of resources, effort and time were put into the preparation of the Tour, only to have the event cancelled when the time comes," said Datuk Wan Lokman.

Last year's inaugural edition was won by Italian rider Simone Mori of Team Jura.

'Days of Our Lives' star to ride with Cycle for Sight

Peter Reckell, a star of TV soap "Days of our Lives," will join Cycle for Sight participants on May 17, 2003. Reckell, who plays Bo Brady on "Days" will cycle with the group from Grants, New Mexico to Albuquerque, approximately 80 miles.

Cycle for Sight takes place between May 15-19 as cyclists ride across New Mexico from the Arizona border to the Texas border to raise awareness of pediatric eye diseases, and to raise money to support the work of Institute for Families of Blind Children. It was founded by Kevin Kandalaft and his wife Kathy Jacob, after their two year old daughter Tess was diagnosed with retinoblastoma last year and lost one eye to the disease.

All proceeds from Cycle for Sight benefit the Institute for Families of Blind Children, a nonprofit organization that offers counseling and support to families facing the diagnosis of blindness in their child.

Cycle for Sight is seeking corporate and individual sponsors for the event. For more information about becoming a sponsor, visit Checks or money orders can also be sent to: Institute for Families/Cycle for Sight, P.O. Box 30613, Albuquerque, NM, 87190-0613.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)